Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sharing too much information on blogs. Or Not.

When you blog the whole idea is that you are writing an online diary. You are sharing publicly the thoughts in your head, the activities in your life and ups and downs of how you are. This is what makes reading blogs really fun. Reading of lives so different or at times so similar to your own makes for great reading.

But sometimes the stories are not yours to be told. Sometimes it affects you greatly but it still isn't your tale to tell.

I find this happens a lot for this blog.

I might be flat out, there could be a whole stack of things that are happening, but they might be something Mr H is dealing with and he requested from the start that I didn't share these issues. It might be something  discussed with a friend who doesn't expect to read about the conversation a few days later on this blog.

There are times when you might be upset by the actions of other people, annoyed at something happening in the school yard. Lots of times I do write about these things but then other times it just doesn't work and just isn't right. The stories are not mine to tell.

There is also the other side of social media which makes it a fast and efficient way of sharing news. Then again, others hate hearing that a friend is getting married, having a baby or has a new job by a facebook update and not in person.

I am sure this must be an issue for other bloggers or even people who write.

If you are a blogger how do you go with sharing news that isn't really for sharing?

28 comments:

  1. I had an email from someone recently telling me that I was sharing a tragic story purely to get blog hits. It really upset me because it's simply not true. I write a brain dump of whatever I'm thinking about as a form of my own therapy. Having said that, there are A LOT of posts sitting in my drafts folder that I'll never publish as they're intimately not my story to share.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that is an interesting email to get! I guess sometimes you just can't beat pen and paper!

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    2. Ignore those emails. I think there are certain people out there who make a profession out of writing to people with blogs, telling them they're exploiting their lives, their families, their children or what have you.

      They are the self appointed guardians of the online world's morality. If only in their own minds.

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  2. Gosh, I hear you - I blog because I NEED to write, and I need an audience. BUT my partner objects vociferously to the idea of my blogging at all, so I am a bit cloak and dagger about it, using a name that is probably not my own and being specifically vague about locations etc in my blog. Even actual people are never refered to by anything identifying unless they are cool with it. Also, he doesn't know that I blog - so when a friend semi-spilled the beans (despite being TOLD, I might add), I've had to shut my blog down to a private, invitation only thing - which I am not really happy about, but my need to write outweighs the inconvenience. Sort of. Which is why I am not linking my blog to this post...

    I never shared anything that could be identifying to anyone involved.

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    1. Harriet, this is really painful isn't it. Writing and sharing stories is such a good thing, pity that our stories have characters and personalities and rules and regulations around them.

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  3. I completely understand this. Lives are so intertwined its hard to sometimes know who has ownership of a story. I've just this week started a new blog and new direction. My old one took a direction I never intended with Autism and I found while I NEEDED the therapy to 'brain dump', share, connect and tell our story, it caused a lot of concern among friends and family, and the less fun stuff wasn't fair on my family or children sharing (thinking years down the track) - so i found I was censoring my posts; and it wasn't real. Then I'd write a huge post, re-read it, be struck by how unhappy or negative it was and I would delete it before publishing, which was ok by me, writing and re-reading served it's therapy purpose, but of course published posts dried up.... not really the ideal kind of blog. So I keep that as a personal diary and I have a new blog/therapy with a new direction. Oh and I completely relate to not telling the hubby, mine didn't know, still doesn't. He wont get the need to share or blog I dont think. Although friends and family make the occasional comment and he asks 'How did they know that?' LOL

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    1. I can understand that Carly. Sometimes you start writing and sharing about something and then you want to just throw in something else and it is like wearing a different fashion or something. It just doesn't suit you. My blogging takes up too much time so if Mr H didn't know about it he might start to wonder what I was doing on the computer all the time!

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    2. Yes I guess that is true, he would start to wonder. I think I will get to a point where I say 'hey look what I've been doing'. Such an interesting topic, reading comments of others I think this is why my first blog 'failed' in the sense of blogging. I knew who was reading and I overcensored everything, and I started to dislike blogging very much - I mulled over every word and image. Took the fun out of it!

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  4. I only blog privately for my family and close friends, and I still find this is an issue. I don't even like to post photos of other people and their kids because I feel it's not my place. So my blog has ended up quite boring, unless you're me!! Plenty of photos and stories about the kids, garden, cat and food! Still, it will be lovely to look back on all the little things one day.

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  5. It's really hard. I write mostly about teenagers, and I have to be really careful to not overstep boundaries when I share stuff about my own. Any post that I have doubts about I will ask her first. I also share my own memories and thoughts about being a teenager, and they might often refer to my old friends. Like Workingwomenaus above, someone from my past accused me of selling out friends to make money (ha, make money). It so isn't true - but you can't separate other people from your stories sometimes, and if they are not tragic stories, or not too personal, contain nothing to identify anyone, and happened 25 years ago, I think I'm entitled to share them.

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  6. I struggle with this all the time. Writing is liberating and therapeutic. But writing on the internet is a writing for the world to see. I give myself a checklist before I hit publish:
    1. Is it safe? (do I feel emotionally safe sharing it)
    2. Is it legal? (am I breaking any libel laws or other potential legal loopholes)
    3. Is it necessary? (is it self-serving validation I'm seeking or is it truth that needs to be spoken?), and
    4. Is it sensitive? (will I lose friendships over it or is it my story to tell)

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  7. I don't name names outside of my family, and hubby is always asked before I share anything. But I cou probably count the number of hard-hitting deep and meaningful posts I've written on one hand. My blog's a pretty light-hearted way of keeping track of what I learn.

    If I have any qualms about posting something, I just don't post it.

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  8. This is why I have gone the way of a more 'advicey' blog rather than a personal diary blog. It was just too hard identifying that line, and keeping the right side of it often watered down the story. It's going to be different for everyone though. Most of all we need to respect the people we write about.

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  9. It's a hard one but I do think that people do have a right to privacy, I never write about other peoples issues, conversations unless I have their consent. My husband too asked me not to share our issues. Men are more private and don't want their personal affairs being aired online. My blog shares the daily stuff without the real daily issues. If I wanted to air these, I feel that pen to paper in a journal may be more suited for me. Hayley x

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    1. Pen and paper just still can't be beaten for so many things.

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  10. The things that really need to be said are often too big. I have loads of drafts that have never seen the light of day, lots of jottings in my notebooks and lots of Word docs that were never saved - just to get the words and feelings out of me.

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    Replies
    1. It seems that bloggers function better by writing stuff out. Be it in the public or private domain.

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  11. I tend to only tell my stories, so this is not an issue for me. There have been a few times where things that weren't mine to tell have happened, and I've just had to leave them there.

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  12. I can really appreciate this post as I am so conscious of only sharing what relates to me. For instance I'd love to share our best friend's story of what they are going through at the moment but had to ask their permission first. They requested to be able to read what I write before I press publish and I was so ok with that. I'd never want to compromise anyone's love or friendship over a blog.

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  13. I think this is a great question and one that people should really think about, myself included. I've often thought about this topic, especially in regards to 'mummy bloggers' - who really own's these stories. The mum or the kid? Will the kid be thrilled to know that their babydom/toddlerdom/birth story was splashed around the world? And so I've read that so many partners are not thrilled about it either, even when done anonymously, yet we still do it anyway. Is the attention worth it?

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  14. I do and have shared things from time to time. I'm very mindful though now as my children grow that they may read this in years to come and I always try to keep them in mind when I tell my anecdotes.

    People have their own ideas about what and how much is acceptable to share. I think it can only ever be a personal call but if you tell the story with the thought in mind that the other person may read it one day, I don't think you can go wrong really.

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  15. There are things I can't blog about. Either because they are far too much information, or they reveal too much about people who are in them.
    But for the most part, blogging is therapeutic for me, and it's also a fairly honest journal of our lives. I just wish I had time to do more.

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  16. Can of worms indeed.
    I tend to blog about my experiences rather than others'. If I do I never use names and will be vague about sensitive information, and I usually write about my opinion or feeling on whatever it may be.
    I blog too, as many others have said to get the stuff out of my head. I have many posts that are still in draft form.

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  17. I love this question! I had a blog before this blog that was public and reachable for all friends and family and the blogging community. In that blog I never told another's story, always my own story. But there were times that in one of my stories I would be talking about things such as; friends without kids perception on Mummyhood etc and I would find that every single friend I had would call me and feel like they had to explain themselves to me. I ended up closing that blog and opening a new one which friends and family dont know about, except the ones I know wont take every single word I say to be about them. I never said a bad word or told their stories or mentioned anyones names, just talked about how I felt some peoples treatment of me had changed.

    In my new blog, I still write about such things if I am feeling such things. And again I never use names or talk about my relation to people unless it has otherwise been consented to. My partner loves the idea of me writing a blog, I think he feels like he gets relief from my constant ramblings when I have an outlet somewhere else. If I ever write about him, it is always with his knowledge.

    Its hard to know where to draw the line with some things though, as another person treatment of you can become your story, but is it also theirs?

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  18. I have many things I write but do not blog. I don't even have them in my draft folder just in case. My Hubby is a private person, and I have to respect that. My children are never written about without their permission either.

    If a story id not mine alone to tell and share, I don't. I am the one who has chosen to write a blog. Family and friends did not, so many things remain unwritten.

    My family read my blog, and I don't want them to have to wonder if I will write about things that affect them in ways they would not and are not happy to share.

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  19. His family and our sex life are thr two things MC wants me to hold back. I've blogged about both at one point :| Now I try to be abit more reserved, for his sake x

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  20. I have a tonne of security reasons why i can't blog 90% of what i want to, due to my husband's work, which is so fascinating, plus our children's names, ages, schools, events, never posted or well after the fact, so no stalkers can meet us anywhere. You never know. I feel that it's my blog, my children haven't asked me to divulge all their personal information so i keep it for them, off the blog. I don't blog for the sake of blogging, thus only posting 3-4 times a week, my life isn't that filled with blog worthy events!! Alas, stories which aren't mine to share, i have a pretty decent filter on what is public & private in my life & those around me. If i stop to think, i figure it's not blog publication ready. Often something sits in my mind for years, then i post about it, knowing the rude person has long gone from my life, love Posie

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  21. PS i think practise works, once you've been blogging for a while, you have more of a clue of what to publish & which stories to keep private. I know my in-laws (nosey sisters) read my blog, but have NEVER mentioned it to me directly, that i don't understand?? My eldest daughter is a teenager, the last thing she needs is me blogging anything personal about her. Love Posie

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